- The courts have previously ruled that it is wrong for a hospital to detain a corpse over medical bills
- The detention of patients infringes our own Constitution
The practice of private hospitals detaining patients or bodies over unpaid bills raises moral questions. Are they justified? Is there any value in keeping a corpse in cold storage for days on end?
The courts have previously ruled that this practice is wrong as there are other avenues through which they can pursue their dues.
Yet many medical facilities continue to detain patients, in some cases receiving substandard or no care at all.
The detention of patients violates the Constitution, which gives all Kenyans the right to medical care. It also goes against numerous international human rights laws, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The covenant states that no person shall be detained arbitrarily, every person has the right to liberty and security of person, no person shall be detained for non-payment of a debt, and no person shall be imprisoned under unworthy inhumane conditions like crowded places with scarce food.
Hospital detentions in Kenya are often illegal and official figures are absent. We, therefore, ask medical facilities to find better ways to collect their money instead of detaining patients who need to be out working to raise the money.
Quote of the Day: “The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away.”
The Nobel prize scientist died on August 19, 1994